DENVER – Between July and December 2017, drivers along U.S. Highway 36 may have noticed extra patrol.
A total of six agencies joined forces to help reduce the number of crashes and violations, between the I-25 corridor to Boulder.
“Troopers are out there making sure we stay safe,” Captain Rocco Domenico, with the Colorado State Patrol, told Denver7.
The Colorado State Patrol (CSP), the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) and Plenary Roads Denver (PRD) announced the drop in crashes and traffic violations since July 2017.
Domenico said there was a 33 percent reduction in crashes along the highway. Both CSP and CDOT released a report that found the average number of crashes between July and December was 125 every year since 2014.
In that same period for 2017, that number dropped to 84.
But there’s still much more work to be done.
“As of today, there's (sic) 51 fatalities since January 1st of 2018. That's the number we want to not raise any more than what it is,” Domenico said.
Eyes on enforcement remain.
Domenico said one major issue is speeding. When high speeds are paired with drivers illegally crossing solid double white lines, that’s a true recipe for disaster.
“They could see people darting in and out of the lane,” Domenico explained. “That they’re either trying to bypass a toll or doing something illegal.”
Combining the issues of speed and illegal lane shifts, he said, “The HOV-lane is going a little bit faster than the through-lane. People moving in and out of them at those different speeds creates issues.”
This is another issue agencies claim have turned around because of extra enforcement.
In July 2017, there was a high of 459 Express Lane violations. In December, at the end of the enforcement period, there was a low of 219.
“Part of the enforcement activity is also education,” Domenico said.
Drivers should have knowledge about what could possibly happen if they cheat the toll lanes. It could cost you up to $1,000 in fines and points on your license.
The partnership between Plenary Roads Denver, the private concessionaire managing the US 36 Express Lanes and CSP, calls for troopers to provide increased Express Lane law enforcement patrolling services.